New Assault Case Emerges as Old Case Closes

BY EMMA SULLIVAN // DEC. 11, 2014 //

Oct. 16 was an important day for former Curry College student Robert “Troy” Jones. That’s when the criminal case against him for assaulting and kidnapping a pair of female Curry student was dropped.

According to Quincy District Court records, the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. On Dec. 6, 2013, Jones was charged with two counts of assault and battery of a person 14 or older, and one charge of kidnapping.

The college suspended Jones following his arrest. Since that time there have been a number of other assault incidents.

Most recently, a Curry student reported that a fellow student sexually assaulted them on Thursday, Dec. 4. However, according to the college, the student didn’t report the assault for nearly a week. It was reported to campus officials on Dec. 10, and Dean of Students Maryellen Kiley notified the campus by email on Thursday, Dec. 11. 

PHOTO BY HARVEY K, via Flickr Creative Commons

PHOTO BY HARVEY K, via Flickr Creative Commons

“The College took appropriate actions upon receiving the report, including supporting our student and informing external law enforcement,” the email read in part. Milton Police is investigating the incident, she reported, but the email did not say whether the alleged assailant remains on campus.

In Jones’ case, he was swiftly placed on interim suspension and then full suspension following his arraignment. He is unable to petition for reinstatement until August 2016 at the earliest.

According to the Curry College Student Handbook, “If a student or law enforcement agency requests the College to delay its student conduct process because the conduct at issue is also subject to a civil or criminal case, the College…will determine if it is in the best interest of the College and its community to delay or move forward with the student conduct process…notwithstanding the civil or criminal case.”

The Student Handbook also explains how such matters are adjudicated. “The facts gathered during the College’s investigation of reported violations of the…Sexual Misconduct Policy will be reviewed, and a decision will be made as to whether a violation occurred, based upon a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that the alleged violation of the…Sexual Misconduct Policy occurred).”

The “preponderance of evidence” standard is far less than the legal standard of guilt.

Balancing a no-tolerance position against sexual assaults and students’ due process rights has become a challenge for colleges. In fact, a number of male students disciplined for sexual assaults or misconduct have filed discrimination lawsuits against their colleges. These men claim college investigators are biased and too often blindingly favor female accusers.

Last December, Jones was a freshman majoring in elementary education. He was also listed on the 2013 football roster as a linebacker.

Attempts to contact Jones using Facebook, Twitter, and his home phone number were unsuccessful. A message sent using Facebook was read, but remained unanswered.

According to Jones’s Twitter account, as of Dec. 7, 2014, he has registered for classes and is ready to go back to school. Because he is unable to enroll at Curry until 2016, it is unknown which institution Jones is now enrolled at.

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